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O.K. I gotta add my .02 worth.

Mama, another important reason for not using the fw gravel is that it is generally 'non-reactive'-that is it will not leach minerals/ect. into fw and in most cases sw, too. This is a good thing in most cases because what that fw gravel is made up of is not desirable in a sw tank. But, the main reason Aragonite sand is used is because it DOES react. When the ph levels in the sw drop, the aragonite dissolves easily thus buffering the sw and stabilizing the ph at about 8.2-8.3. That aragonite sand (which is composed almost entirely of coral skeletons) contains all the essential trace elements and minerals in the correct proportions that is vital to the health and growth of both fish and invertebrates. Without the buffering ability of the sandbed (and good liverock) the sw aquarium is likely to suffer constant and severe ph swings that can seriously stress or even outright kill your livestock.

Non-Aragonite sands- Yes these can be used safely in marine aquaria. The common silica/quartz sands available for fw tanks as well as that used in our gardens is inert and will not 'leach' bad chemicals into the water at the high ph we use. The two main drawbacks to using these materials is the lack of buffering ability and the sharp edges of the grains themselves. Quartz and silica is glass andthe sand is in fact sherds of fractured glass. While the aragonite sand has very rounded edges due to constant dissolving, the silica sand does not dissolve and so retains razor edges. This is important when establishing a deep sand bed as the infauna will not appreciate the painful living conditions.

Jay and Dave. If you guys are truely hoping for that big milkshake effect, a word of caution. Fine sand (any kind) has a way of completely destroying pump impellers. I recommend that you keep all ph and pumps turned off until the sandstorm is over.
 

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oh no, i dont WANT a milkshake.. i jsut wanna get the new tank setup with the southdown in it, so i at least have the potential for a milkshake :) jsut means i'm onestep closer to completion!

when i setup mine, i am following several different pieces of advice from here.

my plan is to dump the sand in the tank. get it leveled out. lay a trashbag, or saranwrap over the sand. put base (dead, dry) rock over the edges, and corners, to hold down the plastic. then i'm putting a plate in the center of the tank on top of bag. then i'm putting a bowl on top of the plate. i wil lrun the ro/di water into the tank, as slow as possible, into the bowl. water wil lspill over bowl, onto plate, and over plate onto plastic sheet :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Wish I'd heard the trash bag trick BEFORE I put the water in. . . :)

I used the 1" pvc pipe trick-- it worked fairly well, just minimal milkshake effect. . . ;)
 

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Well, I'm gonna give the garbage bag method a shot this weekend. I'm thinking (praying) the bag just floats up...
 

· Ughhh.. Dinoflagelettes..
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My skimmer will clear up ANY milkshake within a day..... :)

Perfect for my FOWLR... Especially since the 402's suction cups decided to let go and the PH dropped into the sand.....

Within 5 minutes, the tank was completely milky.... By noon today, it was completely clear.... Gotta love a huge skimmer.... :)
 

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Just call my local HD and asked for Old Castle sand and they dont carry it but they said that they carried something call "Base Lite" or something like that. They also mention they carried play sand...Should I be looking for any certain brand ?? Besides DS and OC ??


-Paul
 
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